Godalming marched on to the semi-finals of the Surrey Senior Cup with an impressive display against Whyteleafe at their Church Road ground, winning 3-0.
The G’s made the best use of the wide spaces and flat 3G surface that allowed them to make the most of their passing skills.
Oneal Garnes featured in goal for the G’s, Will Hutton was again at right back with Nick Hutchings on the left as usual, while Graeme Purdy continued the partnership with Chris Musgrove as the centre back pairing. Ashley Lloyd returned to play in front of the back four and Steve Laidler and Louis Hutton were also back together in midfield with Darren Wheeler and Iven Kumanda the wide players with Danny Bassett upfront in the number 9 shirt.
The G’s had more talent on the bench in the shape of Piers Oldland and Pasha Tayo- Walker.
In the first few minutes Danny Bassett had a shot well saved by the Whyteleafe keeper Adam Highstead and moments later Will Hutton also had a long range shot go wide of the right hand upright.
However “The Leaves” began to settle into the game and their number 8 Daryl Coleman had a chance cleared off the line by Chris Musgrove. Soon after he had another chance beaten away by Oneal Garnes for a corner.
Iven Kumanda started to come more into the game with some powerful runs as Darren Wheeler had been picked out for close attention from the home defence.
Daryl Coleman was then yellow carded for a poor tackle. From the free kick the ball was squared to Louis Hutton who had a shot that went narrowly wide.
As the first half came near to the end Danny Bassett managed to get a good flick on with his head to put the ball in behind the home defence giving Iven the chance to run on to it a hit his shot past the keeper. G’s 1-0 up.
Having given the referee and officials at the match at Barton such a slating (however thoroughly deserved in my opinion) it was truly refreshing to see a referee and officials who new what to do and how to do it. Congratulations to Mr Jonathan Creswick who kept control and maintained dialogue with the two teams throughout the game.
In the second half the G’s stepped up their work rate and took control. Danny ran his legs off upfront constantly harrying the defenders when he was not in possession, and chasing everything that came his way. Steve Laidler and Louis Hutton started to take control of the midfield and Louis got into another shooting position minutes into the second half, which the home keeper did well to push round for a corner.
The Gs were finding it easier to sweep “The Leaves” aside with some tremendous passing moves in which Will Hutton played a big part breaking from deep and turning defenders with 1-2’s with team mates as he tore into the opposition half.
28 minutes into the second half Iven, who had been a very large thorn in the home teams side throughout, was fouled and the home team number 3 also went into the referees book, despite his claims and those of his team mates that the ref had got the wrong man. Louis took the resulting free kick long to the far post where Chris Musgrove ghosted in like only he can to fire a powerful header into the net for the G’s second.
By now the whole squad were really playing very well and strangling any attempts from Whyteleafe to mount any sustained attacks by working as hard when they lost possession as when they were going forward. The whole team defended well and praise has to go again to Capn Purdy for his role in the defence and the measured way in which he managed to distribute the ball from defence. Chris M was growing in confidence and was not to be out done by the sight of Purdy marauding into the home defence as both got in on the act.
The passing moves linking the midfield players and forwards were impressive as they have been on several occasions in the season without the final touch in front of goal. Tonight was different. One such move saw Louis again getting forward with some fine interplay as he moved towards the goal area before picking out a great short pass to put Danny in on goal, a chance he was not going to miss and well deserved. G’s 3-0 up.
Andy Hunt then replaced Iven after he had proved so effective with Piers Oldland who carried on where Iven had left off making several good threatening runs into the box.
Whatever the home team could muster through substitutions proved ineffective as the whole G’s squad gave one of the most complete performances for some years.
Pasha Tayo-Walker came on for Darren Wheeler towards the end presumably to save him for the weekend encounter and he slipped into the game comfortably as had Piers.
All together a great performance from everyone of the team who proved that they can pass the ball as well as any team on their day, kept a clean sheet and had no one booked. Well done to the lads. They did us proud.
The semi final draw will be on friday. We could get either Merstham (ryman prem), Sutton United (conf south) or Woking (conf national).
On to Ware at the weekend.
Report by Graham Harris